When the news broke that former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks had agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee about Donald Trump’s obstruction of justice, Palmer Report pointed out that it was precisely the break House Democrats needed. They’d finally landed a key former Trump insider willing to rat him out in order to save herself. We also predicted that it would break the seal when it comes to additional witnesses.
House Democrats appear to believe that the Hope Hicks news has changed the game as well. On Wednesday the House Intelligence Committee announced that it’s subpoenaing former Trump White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign Vice Chairman Rick Gates to testify about Trump’s crimes.
Flynn and Gates have both cut cooperating plea deals and are essentially required to testify before Congress, even before getting to the part where the subpoena means they’re legally required to testify. Flynn is a loose cannon, as evidenced by his decision this week to hire an anti-FBI grandstander as an attorney, which will likely sink his plea deal. But by all accounts, Gates has been a faithful cooperator every step of the way in his plea deal – and he has the rare distinction of having had high level positions in the corrupt Trump 2016 campaign and the corrupt Trump transition team.
There’s no way of predicting what Michael Flynn might do in response to this subpoena. He might decide to show up, just so he can use the questions asked by House Republicans as an opportunity to push deranged conspiracy theories. But the House Democrats could nonetheless use their time to goad Flynn into making damaging admissions about Trump. Rick Gates is the more reliable witness here. What stands out is that House Democrats have decided to issue the subpoena immediately after Hope Hicks became the first Trump insider to agree to comply with such a subpoena.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report